Gothic medieval cathedral of Palma de Mallorca in Spain

GCC Tourists Flock to Spain, Spending Hits New High

2023 has been a landmark year for Spain’s tourism sector, especially from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, showcasing unprecedented growth.

Tourists from the GCC region have significantly increased their expenditure in Spain, with a total spend of over 1.138 billion euros, marking a 64.7% increase from 2022 and a staggering 123.7% rise from 2019.

The influx of visitors from the GCC to Spain has reached a new high, with 434,000 tourists marking a 33% increase from the previous year and a 56% growth since 2019.

On average, these visitors spent 8.6 days exploring Spain’s rich cultural and scenic offerings. Saudi Arabia has emerged as the leading contributor to this growth, with the number of Saudi tourists doubling since 2019 and increasing by 92% from 2022 to 182,298, overtaking the United Arab Emirates as Spain’s primary GCC market.

Following Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Kuwait have also shown a strong affinity for Spain, drawn by its favorable weather, family-friendly atmosphere, and cultural ties, including a shared Arab heritage.

In its efforts to further cement its position as a preferred destination for Middle Eastern travelers, Spain aims to enhance its appeal through targeted marketing campaigns, strategic partnerships, and a variety of events organized by the Turespaña Tourism Council in Abu Dhabi.

The Ministry of Tourism’s recent initiatives in Abu Dhabi have further bolstered Spain’s tourism outreach. A conference spanning Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates showcased Spain’s diverse regions and offerings, fostering networking and collaboration opportunities.

Daniel Rosado, the Minister of Tourism in Abu Dhabi, expressed enthusiasm over the positive feedback and reinforced commitment from these presentations, highlighting the potential of these regions for boosting Spanish tourism.

Aligned with Turespaña’s broader strategy, these efforts aim to promote international collaborations, expand Spain’s global reach, and enhance its visibility as a premier tourist destination.

Moreover, Turespaña’s inaugural polo tournament in February has spotlighted the premium facets of Spanish culture, such as equestrian sports, aligning with the country’s strategy to present itself as a diverse and appealing destination for global travelers.

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